Djourou in, Vela out, Theo to shake it all about

Djourou in, Vela out, Theo to shake it all about

Business doesn’t stop just because the transfer window is closed, and as such there’s been some tasty news morsels emanating from the Emirates this week.

First off, master of the cheeky chip Carlos Vela has spoken out about his desire to stay in Spain. Currently playing for Real Sociadad and fresh off from scoring against Barcelona, Vela was asked about his future, to which he responded, “I would stay at Real. It is too early to talk about these issues but I do not close the door to Real. As I said, I’m happy here and would like to help the team stay up. Then we’ll see what happens in the summer.” 

Since coming to North London in 2005, Vela has made more than twice the amount of appearances for loan clubs as he has Arsenal, and in six years has joined four different teams on short term deals. Unlike Wilshere, Coquelin, and Szczesny who all spent just one year away on loan, Vela doesn’t seem to be able to hold down a spot in the first team and probably sees a brighter future permanently away from Arsenal.

Essentially, Wenger took a chance on one of the brighter stars of the young Mexican golden generation, it didn’t work out, and so it looks like he’ll be off in the summer. Good luck Carlos, and thanks for the classy chip memories.

While one young gunner looks certain to be departing this summer, another has made a commitment to extend his contract and fight for his place in the team.

Speaking to a French newspaper who revealed the extension of his deal until 2015, Johan Djourou said about the squad and his chances,”The competition is enormous. I work in the shade while waiting for another chance to show my potential.

Funky French translation aside, the message is pretty clear and good on him. It’s welcoming to see a player not happy to rest on his laurels and willing to fight for his spot on the team sheet, especially when we have at least two centre halves keeping him out of the squad right now on merit. Let’s hope he puts that belief  into practice.

Finally, captain van Persie gave a massive vote of confidence to Theo Walcott after the Blackburn game, going so far as to claim that one day the rapid winger will regularly notch 20 goals a season. “Trust me, he will score. He will get 20 goals at least every season. You will see. Have faith in him.” 

After checking his paltry goal tally for this season and having the fear of God put into him by the captain’s sound bite, Theo was quick to respond and play down expectations. “One of my main jobs as a winger is to get assists. The goals are a secondary thing.”

It’s hard to argue with Theo’s point, after his trio of assists against Blackburn he’s now level with Nasri, Nani and Bale in the assists table. Still, it’s also difficult to disagree with Robin’s prediction when you look at Theo at times. He’s one of the fastest in the league and when he does score it’s usually with aplomb. But those instances are too sparse in comparison with the amount of chances he spurs.

His overall game needs to improve; he looks at his most effective when a great midfield pass has done half the work for him and he doesn’t have to beat a defender.

Robin’s words sound like the stuff of a captain trying to support his player. But if Walcott works hard and grows in confidence I think he has all the attributes and skill to be that 20 goal a season man.

One step at a time Theo (just remember to put one leg in front of the other when you’re doing it).

What did you think of the week at the Emirates? Spread the Arsenal love by leaving a comment.

PS Thanks for all the questions for Per and big kudos to those who wrote theirs in German, we’re doing it in Per’s native tongue so you saved me some translating work.

 

75 Responses to “Djourou in, Vela out, Theo to shake it all about”

  1. Terry
    February 9, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Last season (or was it the one before – my memory is hazy) Djourou had a run of games in the first team and we went on quite a good run and I remember a stat at the time that we were unbeaten when he played. Then it all seemed to go horribly wrong. He made a number of cock ups which has not endeared him to the fanbase. Which is a shame because he always seemed like he could be a real tower of strength at the back. This season he has mainly filled in at right back and has been found wanting which is not his fault. I see him now as a back up centre back but not a first choice. But nice to see him pledging some loyalty and a determination to fight for his place.

    Vela? Not good enough in the end. Not enough strength to deal with the physical side of the game in the EPL and too one footed in my opinion. Hope he get his move to Sociedad and frees up some money to bring in someone else.

    Nice to see RVP sticking up for Walcott. I hope that inspires him to put a good shift in and develop some consistency.

    Looking forward to the Sunderland game – aparently under MON Sunderland would be top of the table if the league had started when he took over which means it will be a difficult game. And we play them in the Cup too! Fingers crossed we get another performance like Saturday’s.

    Keep the good work up Mark , I am enjoying the rejuvinated blog!

  2. shambogunner
    February 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Of course Djourou wants to stay…so does almunia bendtner squillachi diaby….I havnt seen much quality from him and the way he tried to ‘close down’ Ryan old man Giggs will live long in the memory…not nearly good enough Im afraid.
    Id like to see Walcott in a more central role…as everyone knows Im not a fan of this 4-3-3 Wenger has become obsessed with..personally I think it ruined Arshavin and its stunting Walcotts development.

  3. delano
    February 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    @ Sunderland shouldnt be a big deal unless we cock it up again. They palyed a difficult away game for over 120 minutes and i guess they should be exhausted by the time e meet them. Our speed ,pace and forward passing must be the symbol of our game at stadium of light. A five nil win will be a little bit convincing. No excuses and complacency again.

  4. Gruggy
    February 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    @Mark,

    Finally learning German at University has come in handy!

  5. Mohd Isa
    February 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Underestimate O Neill at your peril. His players could have played 120 min mid week but it’s a squad game. Furthermore the Irishman is a fighter.
    The thing is Arsenal cannot play the passing marathon game and trying to thread the ball through a massed defence in the box.The Blackburn result was a one off. Oneill won’t be so naive to give the gunners time and space.
    He would probably tell his players to stick in the gunners faces.
    The next six matches will show if the gunners have the quality.Well it’s time for the players to respond.Then we shall see .If not Wenger’s time will surely be up.

  6. leftcoastgooner
    February 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    First things first,
    Sunderland needed extra time to beat Boro yesterday in their FA cup tie. That means they will have 3 days to recover from what was really a grueling derby match while we have had the entire week off after an easy victory last weekend. If ever the advantage for 3 points rested with us it is now.

    And..@Shambogunner Shambo, what’s hurting Arshavin is his unwillingness to push himself. He’s been a darling of the sport for too long first in Russia and originally here. If things are not just the way he likes them he packs it in and starts walking around the pitch. I totally agree with you that He has been played out of position and that this has hurt his effectiveness and taken away from his strengths but lesser players have dealt with the same thing with much better results. WILLINGNESS to put in the best effort one has in them is the key. I don’t believe he has demonstrated that in any material measure.
    I may be wrong and I’m sure you’ll let me know if you think so.

  7. AmericanGunnerFan
    February 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Djourou has the physical talent to be a solid EPL centre back, but, like Theo, seems to lack the “footballing brain” to be as good as he could be. Despite the experience that he has gotten playing at Arsenal and for Switzerland, he loses not only his man, but his sense of where he is on the pitch far too often, particularly in “scramble” situations or when dealing with quick movement of the ball and offensive players simultaneously. Normally in a player’s development this is corrected with experience, but Djourou has gotten plenty of playing time early on in his career and is still making these kinds of mistakes. Indeed, after playing some very solid matches last season, he seems to have regressed this year. Nevertheless, he still can be a decent back-up and perhaps more if he continues to work on his “field awareness”. Even as it stands, I’d rather see him on the pitch than Squillaci!

    No question that Vela needs to leave Arsenal, but he has been a real puzzler to me. Here’s a guy who absolutely ripped the US national team to shreds playing for Mexico and looked every bit as good as, if not better than, Javier Hernandez for Mexico and he just hasn’t seemed to develop a bit at Arsenal. If anything, he, too, has regressed terribly. He should have made the purchase of Gervinho unnecessary. Instead, he has turned into an expensive waste of time and resources that would better serve Arsenal by being permanently off-loaded. It’s a shame because he certainly appeared to have the ability to become a star. I just don’t understand what happened to him.

    As for Theo, Oxlaide-Chamberlain has shown that there’s more to the game than just the ability to run faster than the other players. While Theo has gotten stronger and better in many aspects of the game, he still gets pushed off the ball too often, delivers too many “scattershot” crosses and passes, and has difficulty dribbling past defenders. And, that’s when he’s playing well-which he seems to have difficulty doing on a consistent basis. AOC, for all of his inexperience, has shown how a wing player in a 4-3-3 is supposed to play that position: speeding down the flank and making a good cross; cutting inside to unleash a shot or nifty pass; hustling to the far post when the opposite wing makes a cross; running like mad to get back on defense or immediately harrassing the man with the ball when the opposition gains possession; etc. With more experience and a better developed shot, Walcott should be able to do all of these things better than Oxlaide-Chamberlain. But, he doesn’t. And, worse yet, Theo has games when he is nearly as much of a liability as Arshavin on the pitch when things aren’t going right for him. I know that it may only take one moment of “inspiration” to determine the outcome of a match, but Walcott has had the potential to be an unguardable, dominant player and, despite his experience, he just hasn’t become that player. His progress has come so slowly across the board that one must wonder if he ever will. Maybe, with Van Persie helping and encouraging and AOC threatening his place in the lineup, he will. Maybe, though, he won’t.

    Every player has his bad days…those days when nothing seems to be working or go right. But, the one thing that should never change–where it doesn’t matter how things are going–is the player’s effort. If a player doesn’t or isn’t able to put in the effort, particularly in his defensive end, he shouldn’t be on the pitch. And, if a player isn’t willing to put in his best effort game in and game out, he doesn’t belong on a top-level team that has championship aspirations. As far as I’m concerned, that applies to every player in every sport. As Joe DiMaggio, the American baseball icon, once said when asked why he played so hard in every game, “There may be some kid in the stands today who has never seen me play before and will never see me play again and I don’t want him to be disappointed.” Every professional athlete should have that same kind of pride and respect for the fan who pays good money to come see him play. Unfortunately, there are a couple of players on the Arsenal roster right now that I don’t think have that kind of attitude. And, it really is a shame.

  8. 1NiltoTheArsenal
    February 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Some really astute comments from my fellow tribesmen/women so far.
    @Mohd Isa, I agree complete regarding O’Neill. He can figure out a way to beat you if he doesn’t have the quality. Smart man and always a dangerous opponent.

    As for Vela, Djourou, Walcott and the others, it all comes down to consistency to varying degrees. When you’re inconsistent, you’re unreliable and when you’re unreliable everyone loses confidence. The supporters, the coaches and of course the players themselves.

    If the so-called “elite” teams are ranked by their consistency, Man U would be near top and we would be near bottom, despite the many flashes of brilliance we’ve seen from the Usual Suspects.

    1) Players returning from injury and finding form quickly, and 2) Managing some degree of consistency will be the key to solving the month of February. It all went pear-shaped for us at time last year. We are away for the rest of the month (Sunderland – league, Milan – CL, Sunderland – FA Cup) until Spurs at home.

    Then March in which we play a lot of big teams. If we were ever to put together a run, NOW has to be the time, but without more consistent performances, I can only enjoy the Arsenal one match at a time.

  9. kel
    February 10, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    A lot of Arsenal faithful and wenger himself has said in the past that a change in manager does not guarantee a change in fortune well statistically that’s a lie it almost often bring results.
    Last weeks game Against Rovers and this weekend @ Sunderland truly reflects this assesment: Rovers are inconsistent and total CRAP @ the same time, some would say they beat MAU BUT as i said before a manager does not have to hipe up his players for matches against BIG teams the players do that themselves, i guess to impress the opposition to may be consider them, Its the weaker teams that they need to be motivated to play against and against these so called weak teams Rovers have been nothing short of atrocious. How Kean is still in that job i don’t know, the fans want him out BUT the owners have a different look on things, sticking by there man i guess.
    Maybe they should take a look at middlesboroug they keep southgate when the fans wanted him out, every year they seemed to get worst then finally they got relegated and he left them to rot, now he’s a media man, what a laugh!!
    I picked Rovers to go down and baring a miracle they will.
    We beat them 7 but they were down to 10 men and played like a sunday league team we should have left some of those goals for this weekend.

    Sunderland on the other has done the opposite Bruce failed and new ideas were needed to maintain there top flight status (@ least they have the balls) just goes to show a change in manager does work, and they are now the form team in the league and pushing for a uafacup place.

    So we play sunderland this weekend and this will be a very interesting game, we’re well rested and should be confident albeit Rovers were terrible, horrible, and lack direction.

    Sunderland played midweek and extra time to boot so we should have nooooo excuse what soever to not win this match, anything other than a win will not be good

    Djourou has so disappointed me, he surly has regressed and the bad thing is he is a very experience footballer, real shame and on vela i have a good friend whose Mexican and he told me he saw a lot of both vela and hernandez and that technically hernandez can’t walk in vela’s shoe, he said vela is by far a better footballer Yet hernandez goes to MANU and looks a real goal scorer while vela’s career has just fallen away @ us. I think the club philosophy has a lot to do with his lack of development not too much the football BUT the idea that second place and in our case 4 place is acceptable, This mentality that wenger has instilled in these players will haunt us for years to come that’s why unless he leaves we’re screwed, this mentality is imbedded into the club and will take a long while before it’s rooted out.
    Imagine vela, NichB, Denilson, could all be back with us next season because nobody wants them, really sad.
    Let your wallets take arsenal fans its the only way.

  10. Saiki A. Muktar
    February 10, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Vela going? Not a bad Idea atol, as long as we can still keep Djourou as a fring central defender afterall Cosielny and the Verminator are not doing badly.
    At Sunderland, Ramsey should start on the Bench in preference to Rosicky. While Chambalein contues to play for 70min or so even when Gervinho comes back. As for Walcott, if he cannot supply from his wing, Oxade can and more effectly at that, teaching him how to be more commited and confident on the ball without necessarily looking for an easy break many times. Cheers!

  11. DEO LWAMLEMA-E.AFRICA Tanzania
    February 10, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    GOOD LUCK Carlos Vella

  12. GunnerBoss
    February 10, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    @AmericanGunnerFan – U have my take on the Ox………

    Ur last paragraph summarizes why King Henry should not be playing premiership matches when we have Park…….

    Why did we buy Park? If he does well, then finally he gets used to the EPL, but till then he will never get used to it or what? Same thing with the Ox, he has always been good, new environment, expectations and all that could weigh him down…..but give him more games and watch his confidence soar.
    I’m just not happy Ryo has not been motivated properly to up his game, now he is on loan…fair enough….but, what about Park?

    Chamakh a huge vegetable, Henry’s class stands him out in finishing, but aside this i would prefer Walcott goes CF when RVP is not available for key matches. I hate to watch when the team suffers cos of the wheel not being properly lubricated. I like to see everyone perform where they are supposed to. I hate seeing a player benched cos the coach likes/prefers someone else there when we all know the better player is benched for no reason. We win and the case is postponed, but what happens when we keep on drawing or loosing matches we are expected to win? We go down the table(or crash out of cups), then the reserved comments immediately begin pouring out.

  13. steviej
    February 10, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Neither Vela or Djourou are good enough to get our club where they should be, and i am afraid they are not the only ones.
    Whilst AW’s faith in his players is admirable, i worry that at times he shows too much faith. Theo Walcott is another, yes he is an England international, but very rarely does he consistently deliver the performance that an Arsenal player should. Gervinho is very similar at times exciting, skillful but lacking the finish or killer cross/pass.
    Premier league football is a ruthless sport, if Arsenal are to compete and win we need better players in our squad. Look at the Arsenal squad and realistically how many of them would be able to play in Man c Man u Chelsea or even Spurs first teams. There is only one who is a definite RVP. How much longer will he remain an Arsenal player?
    When we do have truly world class players we are unable to hold on to them because Barca or Man C come a knocking, with a realistic chance of actually winning something and huge pay packets. You can’t blame the players.
    We are told that AW sits on a substantial transfer kitty but is unwilling to spend on players who are no better than those he already has? Or pay inflated prices for those that are better. I am beginning to suspect that there is no money to spend for one reason or another and that his hands are tied by the ownership struggle. Neither of whom are willing to invest heavily until they have sole ownership? Yes the club is being run responsibly and within the proposed financial rules, and is making a profit. Perhaps things will change when we have eliminated the stadium debt!
    There is a series of catch 22’s here: if we do not qualify for the Champions League we will lose huge revenue TV, tickets, sponsorship deals etc etc we will be unable to attract the players we need, we will be unable to hold onto some players who feel they will not win anything and will want to leave, Nasri!
    It appears that Arsenal is a profit making business, but surely as with all business without reinvestment you can not maintain the business model and remain profitable or compete with your rivals. Arsenal is a Football team, therefore investment should be in the team.
    To compete we are going to have to pay the salaries and the fees if not we face being left behind and a feeder club to the others.

  14. felix
    February 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    That was a splendid performance from the gunners. guys keep it up so that we will be in the top four. gunner for live.

  15. MANLIKE RONO
    February 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    first I don’t know where I stand as an arsenal fan from Kenya !but being a fan and a resident from a different continent doesnt make me less fan. but if arsenal board don’t change their tactics, then the ticket holders has no option but
    to avoid attending matches.just to let them(arsenal board ) understand they can’t make profit or even progress without fans

  16. Gunfest
    February 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Real Madrid is apparently showing interest in RVP. As reported by a French website RVP said” I am very flattered by the interest of Real, I think Arsenal would want to extend my contract

  17. dutch
    February 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Steve bruce does not have to feel bad of not knowing why sunderland re performing for oneill,becoz I don’t think bruce would allow his team to play anti football the way oneill is making them play especially if u re playing infront of your home fans,
    Whats the horrible thing! Is somehow arsenal can play through the anti football but not also having too play passes on a shitty match.arsenal need all 3 points desperately!0-0 half time

  18. shambogunners
    February 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    well done Ramsey!
    Now come on and show you want the win.
    Once again the defending has been appalling.

  19. dutch
    February 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Why that fucking idiot per didn’t kick out the ball,to avoid that goal going in,fucking idiot,now rubbish walcott is coming off for rubbish arshavin

  20. shambogunner
    February 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Yeeeessssssssssssss!
    GET IN!
    Shockin defending..dull predictable display by the usual culprits but well done Rambo, well done Arshavin…..and Thierry; you are the fucking king man…great results for us all round today.

  21. dutch
    February 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Are kidding me shambo! Well done arshavin!really!didnt he owe us that one kick for all that crap he been doing!arsenal deserve better performances what happen when things start getting worst? Arshavin owe the arsenal faithful far more than the eye can c!

  22. billi
    February 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    omg, i haven’t watched this match today, fuck the hell, 😎

  23. Terry
    February 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Thought we had blown it when Sunderland scored. Great coeback – thrilled for Ramsay who has been coping the brunt of the criticism lately and nothing left to say about the bloke who got the winner!
    @dutch are you out of your mind? Mertesacker clearly injured hiself, personally i think that if there was any honour left in this game the sunderland guy would have stopped play… mind you if it had been at the other end I would not think the same way!

    Top of the Race for 4th League! Can we not just enjoy a gritty away win against a team that we have often struggled against?

  24. GunnerBoss
    February 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Excellent result…..

    What can i say……..Extremely soothing……

    An EXCELLENT cross for a very welcome 2nd goal. Rosicky again spectacular, RVP(led by example) was not fed at all, Ramsey shoots and scores off both posts…….. Amazing stuff.

    Beautiful, I really loved the fact that the King scored….but it was more out of the fact that we were now doing an advanced 4-4-2 or 4-2-4….

    We showed hunger because there IS some healthy competition now for places…too bad the Coq could not get game time…hope his form does not drop….

  25. leftcoastgooner
    February 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Very good result for us. It keeps the ball rolling and gives the side that little extra bit of belief. I’ve been all up in Arshavin so the least I can do is give him props for a good run in on the flank and a GREAT cross into the box.
    Rosicky put in a solid effort and Song and Arteta stabalized the midfield and saw to it that we had the Lion’s share of possession. Kos and Per Tree kept it tight up until the BFG’s injury.
    And of course Ram and Henry who gaves what we needed the most when we most needed it. On we go next victim’s: AC Milan 😉

  26. Buggered by The Queen
    February 12, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    Psssssst. Don’t tell a soul but we’re in 4th place.
    Oh, and thank you Toffees.

  27. Opus
    February 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Ramsey scored vs Manchester United – Bin Laden died

    Ramsey scored vs Tottenham – Steve Jobs died

    Ramsey scored vs Marseille – Gaddafi died

    Ramsey scored vs Sunderland – Whitney Houston died

    Thank God he dosent have Robin Van Persie’s skills.

    Just heard again that when Ramsey broke his leg, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile. choi

    Ramsey Please, continue giving assists.

    Only God knows what will happen if he decides to stop football.

  28. GunnerBoss
    February 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    @Opus – U noticed all this……

    U must be very jobless for this sort of research……..(joking)

    U should seek work at the discovery channel……….

    Besides, if he decides to stop football, it could kick-start the next ICE AGE

  29. 1NiltoTheArsenal
    February 13, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    @Opus, Fantastic stuff re. Ramsey. I intend on reposting this to some other places – hope you don’t mind (you’ll get full credit).
    Thanks!

  30. Shard
    February 13, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    Great result against Sunderland. A come from behind win on a cut up pitch after going down in unfortunate circumstances. I wanted to be annoyed at Sunderland for the goal, but I realised that there was little time to understand that Per was actually injured and hadn’t just fallen over. I’m ok with Sunderland playing on. Great stuff from the team to come back and win, and combined with Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle losing, it means we are now 4th. Yaay.. But long way to go.

    Shambo, I have to disagree that our defending was bad. I didn’t think it was. We don’t just sit deep to defend though, so I guess if you compare it to how Sunderland were defending then it’ll appear more open. Arshavin’s cross was great, and Ramsey’s rest seems to have done him good. I think those that argue that Wenger doesn’t know tactics were shown to be wrong yesterday. Sure, it was a change borne out of necessity, but putting on Ramsey for the injured Per and putting Song deeper worked out very well. The three subs were Henry, Arshavin and Ramsey. All three had an impact. Doesn’t mean it’ll work every time, but it’s hard to say that Wenger doesn’t know what he’s doing, just because it doesn’t work other times.

    Regarding the RVP quote.. RVP himself denied ever having spoken to Marca. Those quotes are fabricated. False. Can we all just stop taking football rumours and news at face value?

  31. Terry
    February 13, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    Dear Opus

    On that list only Osama Bin Laden as far as I know was an Arsenal fan, so no great losses there!

    What’s the injury news for the Milan game? Assuming Mertesacker won’t play, does Wenger pair Kos and Vermeulen and pick Gibbs on his first time back against Milan? Seems a big call. Or does he go for Djorou and Kos and keep Vermeulen at left back? Or play Song at CB alongside Kos with Vermeulen at fullback, which frees up a spot in midfield but risks our defence being more exposed. As usual the timing of the injury could not be better…

    Also will he play the Ox or revert to Arshavin for his experience? And can Thierry do it one last time at the San Siro?

    Thursday morning OZ time – on ESPN for the anyone down under.

  32. Rayed
    February 13, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Excellent work by the manager, all three substitutes had an impact on the goals!

  33. dave the gooner
    February 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    great stuff opus.

    i know theo is having a hard time, but i wish their was more positive things said about him. he is a good player, not the best and i feel their is better options on the market if we could trade him in. but i like him, his pace means that defences drop off which gives other players more room even if he does nothing during a game. i know this is not enough but when teams do push forward he makes an impact, he needs space and room to run into, which arsenal do not always provide for him, because as a team we press high up the pitch, which i really like. but if he played for a counter attacking team and through the middle especially i feel he would be a fine fine player. wrong team, wrong position but he does ok. i think he should leave for his carreer. play for a martin o’neil counter attacking team or something like that. but players egos will always get the best of them and whilst he is at a top club he will want to stay. i hope for his sake he moves on. we need skillfull players in our forward positions that can unlock doors and score goals, ie pires, naris, hazad, gotze etc, i hear ajen robin might be up for grabs at a cheap price in the summer, as a back up plan i like him, plus the young japaneese boy looks like he could be a player.

  34. Ben Ozor
    February 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    It is by God’s mercies that I’ve not had a heart attack watching Arsenal play of late. Why in the name of…does Wenger continue to be pig headed over the need for a solid full-back of the first order? Maybe he is waiting until the likes of Wigan overtake us before he realizes his mistake. As far as I am concerned, our present position (4th) after the Sunderland game was just a fluke. The chances are that continuing with our present crop of full backs, we are likely to end up mid table at the end of the season thanks to people like the German sloth.

  35. leftcoastgooner
    February 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    @ Ben Ozor
    4th place in mid-Febraury is no fluke.
    As far as Mertesacker being a “sloth” his running is a good deal better than your analysis.

  36. dutch
    February 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Gooners good news! Which will be that mertesacker will only be out for a month,you can google it on mailonline or check it on his facebook page with a picture of his ankle.

  37. kel
    February 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    The sunderland game should give this team some confidence because it was hard fought, So lets kick on now and gain some momentum for the task ahead
    and for the record i walcott is a hopeless

  38. delano
    February 15, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    We go tonight but don’t get shocked if it goes bad as Milan have all their injured players back.

  39. maltagooner
    February 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Rest assured that we won’t be shocked, as we are now accustomed to being humiliated by inferior teams and butchered by superior teams. Let’s just hope the Milan forwards have a bad day!

  40. leftcoastgooner
    February 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Well you guys I’m going to be a little more optimistic and predict a draw.
    I’m not sure we can beat them at the San Siro outright but if we could nick an away goal or two and hang on grimley that would do for me.
    Does anyone know who features in our back four besides Kos and Sagna? I think Vermaelen should stay out on the left and Miquel should play the other central defenders role unless Gibbs is 100% fit in which case TV5 partners with Kos in the middle and then we can have 2 real attacking/defending fullbacks in their natural positions. I’m not sure of the date but I think it’s been since sometime late october since this has been the case.
    Too bad old Per Tree is out, he’s the only one big enough to stick an elbow in Ibrahimovich’s big,ugly snout.

  41. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Hello all,
    Im very upbeat about tonight. I think both teams are well matched and equally poor as far as defending and concentration goes…also they are quite like us mentally as they tend to lack gears like ourselves when it comes to a fighy, frankly I think they lack the stomach for a fight and if we can go do what the lesser PL teams have had so much success doing to us then I dont see why we cant score a couple of goals. That said if Song isnt up for it abd Walcotts attitude isnt right and we allow them too much respect well then we give them the momentum and platform to hurt us…its tough to know which Arsrnal will show up but Milan are there for the taking..look what spurs did to them….lets have a go and watch as Ibrahimivic, Robinhos temperment deserts them again.
    Big night for Sagna Kossy Verm and RvP…biggest game of the season so far. Lets deliver!

  42. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Hello all,
    Im very upbeat about tonight. I think both teams are well matched and equally poor as far as defending and concentration goes…also they are quite like us mentally as they tend to lack gears like ourselves when it comes to a fight, frankly I think they lack the stomach for a fight and if we can go do what the lesser PL teams have had so much success doing to us then I dont see why we cant score a couple of goals. That said if Song isnt up for it and Walcotts attitude isnt right and we allow them too much respect well then we give them the momentum and platform to hurt us…its tough to know which Arsrnal will show up but Milan are there for the taking..look what spurs did to them….lets have a go and watch as Ibrahimivic, Robinhos temperment deserts them again.
    Big night for Sagna Kossy Verm and RvP…biggest game of the season so far. Lets deliver!

  43. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    30 mins gone. Awful so far.
    no incision. no urgency and these are here for the taking. lateral passing and nobody willing to take responsibility to make the run or pass or shot that will make the difference.
    Ramsey is at least pressurising the ball but this look like were going through the motions without purpose and no-body seems to know that the oppositions goal is our target.
    Id say I could actually switch off now and wait for the home tie…like this team seems to have done.

  44. theicehammer
    February 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Hi all, @shambo whats up my man, i think its a shame the ox is not playing. What a goal by AC

  45. leftcoastgooner
    February 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    2 nice goals by AC now. Our defence hasn’t really played that bad but we have given them nothing to worry about at their end. Robin is isolated and Walcott looks like he’d rather be somewhere else.
    Hopefully we can pull at least one back and not leave too much work for ourselves on the return leg. We’ll see, right now it’s not looking so good.

  46. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    ice,
    its a joke, schezney had a kickout and took it quick to sagna who gives a simple ball back and his kick doesnt leave our half 3 secs later its in our net…Sagnas attrocious and wudnt play the whistle a min ago and now were two down.
    Concentration and purpose zero…Id love to know what Wenger says to motivate these because its a fucking joke that they are not up for this gane…then they wonder why they have no medals.
    Get Walcott off hes nothing to offer, he might aswel be in the stand when we dont have ball and when we do he hasnt got a clue.
    Here comes Djourou. Oh Lord.
    Its pitiful.

  47. theicehammer
    February 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    @shambo, do you think the Prem is not as good as it use to be. I watch much of the Italian league and have seen much improvement over the past 3-4 years. I dont even think AC will win their League. Your boys look very flat, whats going wrong.

  48. dutch
    February 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    No 1 question,arsenal knew who they were drawing they had 2 months to prepare, key players are playing so why the fuck up? Why re arsenal playing so sloppy,there is just no excuses!

  49. theicehammer
    February 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Gooners, what is Wenger going to do, or what should he do for the second half. Defending high up the pitch is leaving the team open at the back due to the lack of pace, should Asnl go to 442 and bring on the ox, who else is on the bench that could change the game. Shambo you need an early goal………where is Henry when you most need im.

  50. GunnerBoss
    February 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    It is terrible seeing Ramsey start. The Ox has been told to make way for Ramsey in the team.
    Why is Ramsey not on the right and the Ox on the left instead? Why must Walcott keep on underperforming? Why is it that the Ox is sacrificed for Ramsey? Why must Rosicky be on the left? This is why Arsenal will NEVER win anything……

    We know what to do, but it seems we are just too sentimental….we have no shots on target, no through passes to the striker, nothing at all….

    The whole midfield is weak.

  51. gunna shah
    February 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Terrible half,walcots nowhere,is it just me,or has sanga lost something since his injury? wenger should have been braver in his approach,the OX should have started,thought we had momentum,going into this,playing Rosisky at left wing after he´s played how many matches in a more central is beyond me,would rather have him play where he played against blackburn,and sunderland,and the ox at left wing,had more purpose then.Why change a team that´s on a roll?

  52. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    No Ice I think the Prem is way stronger and pound for pound prem league teams would be too strong and too passionate for the Italians, just not this prem league team…they really let you down when your expecting a big performance.
    Ibrahimovic will sulk his way out of the game if you rough him up, Robinho the same…when we have the ball its so toothless and predictable, each player passing five yards to each other passing the responsibility, no one running in behind no one putting in the hard yards…its chronic impotence in footballing terms.
    Walcott and Rosicky wont track back. Artetas heads up his arse and Songs just fouling as usual, Sagna even when he glanced over and seen the flag wasnt up didnt try half hard enough to get back at Ibra.
    Champions League my fuckin arse…how could Walcott even go into that dressing room at halftime with his head up. Joke. If Ix comes on hel shzme him with determination and directness…but that wont happen as Walcott will get 70 mins and Arshavin and Henry will come on.
    So dissapointed I really thought wed have a go.

  53. Gunfest
    February 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    I think the Italian has gotten better more technical. That’s not reason why we are struggling. We have a bunch of mediocre players, you watch the technical ability of players on the Milan team and in Arsenal team. We used to be able compete technically with these not anymore.
    Watch Boateng ! He was with playing with freakin Port smith, we could’ve had him. He plays with hunger, strong, fearless, I would take him over Arteta, Diaby, Theo
    I feel sorry for RVP playing with these inept players.

  54. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Gunnerboss,
    Watch the second half and watch the pressuree Ramsey puts on the ball, I simply cant agree with your criticism of him when hes the only one that tries to win the ball back in the opponents half, EVERY other Arsenal player bar the centre halves allow the opponent the time and space to do what they want…the Giggs cross for Valencia this year, Djourou says ‘ do your best’ running out with his hands behind his back. Thats not a defender.
    3-0 now they are a joke defensively and have no imagination or pace going forward.
    As bad as I knew we were I had no idea we were this bad…getting strolled over by a shit AC team. Watch.Milan get murdered in the next round.
    Just heartbreaking the ineptness.

  55. theicehammer
    February 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    What the fuck is appening to dis team. Rabbits in a headlight. Can wenger change it

  56. theicehammer
    February 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    moment of Star dust from Henry and Van the man

  57. Gunfest
    February 15, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    @Shambogunner always agree with comments, reality is I am not sure how we are 4th in the EPL , we have a player who scored more than 50% of our goals that’s a big problem.
    Reports from France say Hazard wants to go to play with Spurs… If that happens we won’t catch up to them anytime soon. We are now sitting 10 points behind them in the league. How depressing!

  58. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Gunfest,
    We cant attract the best players now even if we wanted to spend.
    Look at how Spurs performed when they played here…they ripped them to bits.
    Why did we have to play a half fit Gibbs and Sagna…why have we no goalscorer? Because once again Wenger knew best.
    Its four now and justifiably.
    At least Wenger can use the last five mins to think up his excuses.

  59. theicehammer
    February 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Shambo, what has gone wrong wid Djourou, at one point i really thought e had potential, e now looks like a little boy in a mans game.

  60. GunnerBoss
    February 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    This is the main reason our best players leave……

    RVP is probably the best player on that pitch right now, but he is on the side loosing fucking 4-0…

    This is why I say our coach is clueless and sick. Changing the whole team and moving players to positions they’ve not played in for ages. These boys should be eased back into their regular positions..not baptized back

    Why take Koscielny to the right side of defense when he’s been playinh on the left for a couple of games now. Why change Vermaelen? No other defenders?

  61. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Ice,
    I never, ever rated him so its best I dont say much.
    God Im depressed. So bad.

  62. dutch
    February 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    What excuse will wenger use now?believe it or not ac milan do have wounds and it was cover up by boateng as for us it was just a matter of time,it will just be a defeat we will have to accept,
    Wenger says we will go out and attack,well the opposite just happen!

  63. gunna shah
    February 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Its over! And the funny thing is,if we manage to qualify for next season´s competition,most of these losers will still be here!

  64. Gunfest
    February 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    To be honest , it is no less than we deserve. We have been hiding for many years behind, youth of the team, injuries, referee decision. We have to face reality,time a for a change. Lack of quality is our downfall
    Lok at our first 11 how many could start in the AC Milan team ? RVP that’s it!

  65. shambogunner
    February 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    92 min Milans coach is on his feet screaming at Emanualson for not squaring the ball…Wengers hiding in the dugout.
    That performance has convinced me Wenger has to go now. He cant motivate and theres no spirit or pride.
    Sorry but that performance merits the sacking of a manager..yes players can all underperform on the night, or even be sub standard in general but theres no moral here and these players arent playing for the manager.
    Championship side Birmingham worked their socks off in the Europa this season and bowed out with their pride intact. This group have had their professionalism called into question from all quarters in the last few years, their 17 pts adrift in the PL, the fans have been through the ringer for the umpteenth time, and thats the performance we get with only two cups still available to us?
    Attack me if you want but its the truth, we as fans do not deserve this, spare a thought for the away fans tonight.
    It doesnt take 100 fucking million.
    Some of these players just dont have it in their eyes…look at Walcott, Djourou, Gibbs, Ramsey…they havnt got the will, because they and others
    have been absolved of respobsibility week after week by the manager as he blames every other thing, we dont get back to back performances we dont get a reaction after a beating. We believe we can go out the very same as previous and that we will get a different result, its madness and the comolacency and the allowing of this standard to grow is destroying our club.
    Who now wants to join Arsenal?

  66. Gunfest
    February 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    I feel sorry for many Gooners who are only now realizing that “the Emperor has no clothes”. We have been declining for year seven when we were finishing 2nd or 3rd. We are pitiful Shambogunner, it is time for Wenger to go, he has ran out of ideas

  67. theicehammer
    February 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    @mark, what say you now about Johan……..what a pile of ……… Delano and Multa, your predictions were correct……but why the ell did you not tell that Wenger for he looked clueless. Every time the camera panned onto im, e was motionless as if frozen in time. In the last 6-7 years Wenger still can not see that the whole team can’t defend when they don’t ave the ball. 2 much silky, pretty.light weight football. HOW MANY YEARS HAVE I BEEN SAYING THIS OBVIOUS FACT AND REMEMBER I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL Fresh ideas are needed and that will only come from fresh faces running the whole squad. I thing the dressing room has been lost.

  68. GunnerBoss
    February 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    From defense

    Vermaelen misplaced- taken to the centre after a very fine run in LB and taken back to LB to show the coach does not know his players or he does not know what he is doing…..Cant blame him.
    Koscielny misplaced- he could have paired Djourou or Song same way he pairs BFG, not playing him where BFG plays……Cant blame him.
    Gibbs & Sagna not ready-Vermaelen and the Coq should’ve been allowed to continue their fine run of form on the flanks till Sagna and Gibbs become fighting fit. I said this earlier, didn’t I? Cant blame them, you dont joke/tinker anyhow with ur defense in important matches.

    Ramsey completely misplaced- he should be looking for another place to ply his trade next season as he is completely incompetent at holding & distributing the ball…i’m talking through balls(accurate) to the striker, dribbles etc. Cant blame him, he was an impact sub for the last game and should remain as that.
    Rosicky misplaced- why is he wasting on the wings? Why is he limited to a portion of the pitch when he could have had the whole centre? Cant blame him.
    Walcott does better when played with another winger, only God knows what Wenger went out to do there today. Two wingers would have given them food for thought. The whole team was changed, we have not been playing like this…..
    RVP- i can see why our players leave. He was arguably the best player on that pitch yet he was on the side loosing 4-0? Jeez!
    This kind of matches, you play the likes of Benayoun, not Ramsey…even Arteta was rubbish today.

    When they scored, he should’ve brought in Chamberlain, so we start building any kind of pressure. They made a substitution in the 18th minute? The rest held up till the end……We were better, but Wenger messed everything up…all the momentum built up for nothing, everything is slapped back in our faces

    If this is what he wanted to do, he should have started with Blackburn and continued with Sunderland, not after for goodness sakes.

  69. GunnerBoss
    February 15, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Vermaelen misplaced- started at the centre after a very fine run in LB and taken back to LB towards the end to show the coach does not know his players or he does not know what he is doing…..Cant blame him.

    Rosicky would’ve done a better job of holding the midfield and distributing balls(controlling the game) rather than being wasted on the flanks just like he showed in the last two games played…Who can blame him? We just made sure RVP(our point man) never got to see the ball. He had just one shot(with his right leg) on goal. How more depressed can we make him be?

  70. GunnerBoss
    February 16, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    The Ox has to be starting every match from now on…..he deserves it on current form.
    Rosicky has to be made the arrow head of this midfield from now on with Benayoun/Arshavin as options. I personally prefer Arshavin to start, but Rosicky is doing okay for now.
    Wilshere as central midfielder(running up and down) with Arteta/Coquelin/Ramsey as options.
    Song as defensive midfielder with Arteta/Wilshere/Coquelin/frimpong as options.
    I dont care what he does on the flanks, but would prefer a Gervinho/Ox to a Gervinho/Walcott. Our coach is too sentimental and often picks players based on seniority than on current form(I hope we dont loose Coquelin to this mess).

    You see running around and doing nothing when you get the ball can NEVER be positive football. The better team is not necessarily the one who puts in the better work-rate, but more often the team which allows the ball to do the running. The better team tells the ball where to go better. One could run around the whole pitch but does nothing positive when he gets the ball(Ramsey). A lot of us seem to accept this wastefulness because we draw or win matches in which we were very wasteful. Secondly, a lot of us see running as someone doing some work. When Ramsey runs at their defenders and expects the team to run with him, he just shows how silly he is. I’m I a bad person for noticing this?
    Only RVP should be running at their defenders(when we dont have the ball), so we can maintain our shape in the middle, those guys are way more experienced than we are. When we conceeded, we should have been tighter in the middle, STOP RUNNING AIMLESSLY at them, but let them come to you. Only God knows if Ramsey thinks he was playing with kids…..
    At a point we were doing a 4-4-2(before the Ox came in), a formation we have never done with this set of players before. We wouldnt have found ourselves in this mess if we set up like we started against Sunderland and Blackburn. Stick to what you know, STOP EXPERIMENTING like you do in Carling cup.

    This is why we will NEVER win anything.

  71. GunnerBoss
    February 16, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    I cant sleep, i’m feeling real sick…..

    We were supposed to freakin win this…….

    If we loose Eden Hazard to the fuckin spuds, then wenger would’ve made us shoot ourselves in the foot. We need a better squad for next season, maybe Walcott should leave…..

  72. Terry
    February 16, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    That was abject. I don’t think that any one player from that game can hold their head up – the entire team was off its game.

    Arsene fucked up big time with his selections this morning.

    Now we are in a pickle. I am sure he was planning to rest a lot of players for the FA Cup game but now that has to be a high priority as it is the only trophy we can win.

    Just when I thought it was safe to show some optimism again. Man I hate being an Arsenal fan at times!

  73. leftcoastgooner
    February 16, 2012 at 12:56 am #

    Ouch, that really hurt.
    I think a good stout mixture of grain alcohol, lamp oil, and hemlock should blunt the shameful feelings. At least until this weekend.

  74. Gunfest
    February 16, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    @Gunnerboss , I am not sure if many fans are aware what a disaster it would be if Hazard went to the SPurs! A player like that would revive our team. He probably looks at Arsenal and sees no drive to win, no ambition. Most gifted French speaking players used to dream of playing under Wenger.
    Gervinho practically begged to join to Arsenal on a free transfer.

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